As I look to the right side of this face I see so much of my past. People could only literally see my pain and trauma following brain surgery. My long brown hair was half gone (but only on the right side) and in place of that hair were many staples which were quite visible. The left side of my face was swollen to the point that it was hard to open my eye, and I was in a hospital bed for weeks. This is basically the only time I did get flowers for chronic pain because the pain was visible and we did not yet know it would be chronic. Acute pain is such a perfect name because pain that goes away is so much cuter than the pain that lasts forever. I was that person on the right side for way too many years of my life. I never slept, I lost all my hope, and more than once truly wanted to die. I looked fine on the outside once I realized my pain was chronic and I honestly wanted to look on the outside how I felt on the inside so that people would believe that I truly was in physical pain and needed help. A lot of the time I acted like the left side of this girl. I was trying, I was hoping, and I was caring. I was trying every day of my life to find a cure to my pain. I was hoping and praying that someone in the world could help me. I still cared enough about the people I loved to keep going but I am not sure that towards the end of my search for a cure I was living. Yes, I was breathing and walking and my heart as broken as it was, was still beating. However, I was slowly dying on the inside. If you have chronic pain, you know exactly what I am talking about.
It is bizarre for me to look at this face and realize that I am now so much more alike with the left side of this face. I am laughing, smiling, caring, and most of all living. The oddest thing about this is that the pain has never gone away but rarely am I anything similar to the right side of this face. I want to help people in this world who are so familiar with the right side of this face that the left side looks like a dream. It took me over fifteen years to get to where I am now. It breaks my heart to know that there are people out there who are living like I did for all those years. People ask me why I am I spending my time sharing my journey with the world when so much of it I hid for so long and this picture is my answer to them. There are answers, there is a life with chronic pain, and you can truly live despite the pain. Statistically the number one reason people with chronic pain die is suicide. This has to change. If you know anyone out there with chronic pain please share my blog with them. We need to get more people living as the left side of this face shows. The darkness can end and I am living proof of that light.